Before performing any maintenance on your sump pump unplug anything electrical on the unit. Then you can check for some of these common problems and fix them before any further water damage incurs. Check some of these common problems that may lead to a malfunctioning sump pump.

Your sump pump may collect debris from items falling into the basin (such as children’s toys). This could cause the float mechanism, which is what tells the sump pump to pump out water, to malfunction.

It is also wise to test the float since they aren’t guaranteed to last forever. To test the float simply fill the basin with water and watch that the sump pump starts and stops as necessary.

The check valve is what shuts off the flow of water once the sump pump shuts off so that no water will go back into the sump pump. If this valve isn’t working properly water could be running back into your sump pump and causing flooding. The arrow on the check valve should not be pointed toward the sump pump.

As simple as it sounds your sump pump may not be working properly because it isn’t getting power from its power source. Check the power source for outages.

You may also consider having an alarm that sounds off if the water level is to high due to a failed pump. Also available is a water driven backup pump that is driven by the city water supply. It’s a great solution when the power is out during a storm.

The Home Examiner, a home inspection company. Grand Rapids, Michigan